As expats in Thailand, you know the value of having a good quality life with little expense. What does health, happiness and harmony in your life look like? Sure, we can put all the right foods in our bodies and make sure to get our exercise, but I feel it is more than this, especially if we have come into the time of our lives when we feel we can enjoy our mid to older years. Having a good community to thrive in, be inspired and inspire others, be of service and appreciate what we have also comes into play. I have been fortunate enough these past years to travel around the outer edges of Thailand discovering
Laos, Malaysia, Bali and even a bit further to Nepal and India.
Finding out as much as I can about the places I visit as I live my life of holistic health education, medicinal plant painting and having small expos along the way. It has taken me years to be able to feel like I have created a wholesome, all encompassing life for myself, and I am happy to have reached a point where I feel I am getting to live my passions and inspire others. This is not an article to go on about how great my life is of course, for I certainly have my own trials and tribulations. But it is more an article dedicated to thoughts of fulfilment of who we are in this world that we have created around us.
The life of an expat within a community, and a way in which we can feel like we are honouring our whole selves, having that golden life away from where we have come from. Finding your niche among friends and family, finding your value and sharing it, as a solo traveller in the middle of her life, I have found this to be of the most value along with maintaining my health and learning to accept my own downfalls and grow from them. Being able to live in a less expensive manner than back home is of great benefit also.
For I feel I can dedicate more time to feeling like part of a community and being able to give and share of myself rather than always focusing on the money making aspect of life. I am writing you from Hawaii of all places, having come here for a visit after a brief sojourn home to Texas to reorganise my USA home for a semi-permanent rental. I’ve been on the road around Thailand for 1 year and 8 months and so the shock of expenses here has made me a rather boring dinner date with my “chin on the floor” at the cost of things all the time.
I won’t even begin to tell you how tired my family got of me when in the UK briefly for the Chelsea Flower Show last May going on about the cost of Prêt A Manger coffee shop. I am happily continuing on my journey around Thailand beginning October 1st to fly to Cambodia and Vietnam before finally returning to Thailand. This is my fluffy quest of looking all around various semi-retirement living possibilities, but really just a reason to keep on moving, discovering myself and enjoying life! (So far the competition is between Thailand and Bali.) I managed to get the Texas house finished before the October date so I flew to Hawaii to check out the latest scene, being 6 years ago the last time I swam in the Pacific Ocean here. I’m quite familiar with Hawaii as I lived here in my mid 20’s and know all the islands pretty well, this time I choose Maui as my 5 week getaway.
Let me tell you Thailand Expats! The cost of one dragon fruit is $5, one latte is $7 and gas for the car is almost $5 a gallon… like wow. Minimum wage is $10-$15hr depending on tips though so if one lives here it can be easier than coming from less expensive countries however I feel the pinch around me. A normal 3 bedroom house is $3000 a month. Even though this is a small island, people don’t drive around much and tend to stay in their area a lot. There are definite new-age spots vs conservative spots like most places and folks tend to stick to their comfort zones. Even though the cost of life here is high, the mood is still very “Ohanastyle” meaning, relaxed vibe, mainly due to the fact that one can “beach-it” daily with little clothes and flip flops aren’t like boots, coats and hats in London, nor is heating needed and living on fruit and fish is an easy option.
The painting in this article is called Paradise Fire; The Gold Inside. I painted it when on the Big Island of Hawaii representing the life in the fire of the volcano combined with the bursting vibrancy of the flowers. Years later, it represents what I am living now, my golden life, “Where do I live it out and how can I do it to the best of my ability?”
The artistic touch permeates everything and is very good, with bright bold colours and flowers galore, so I am very inspired. Like Thailand, florals, fruits, song and culture floats through the daily breeze. Here in Hawaii, being aware of “Mama Maui” and “Pele, the Fire Goddess”, the ancient hula dance and thanking the natural healing energies of the planet is immersed in conscious thought. The painting in this article is called Paradise Fire; The Gold Inside. I painted it when on the Big Island of Hawaii representing the life in the fire of the volcano combined with the bursting vibrancy of the flowers.
Years later, it represents what I am living now, my golden life, “Where do I live it out and how can I do it to the best of my ability?” We all know, or I should hope we do, that the gold is in our hearts, what we do and say every day, what we put in our bodies, not just in food, but in thought and the personal connections we create along the way. Whether we are in Asia, Europe, UK or in the USA, finding that “sweet spot” we can call home is worth cultivating.
I have found that being able to create our life in a way that isn’t so focused on money making and more about being of service can be more fulfilling, indulging in creative skills (even while travelling), has its healing benefits and being able to share those skills while learning from others can create a divine balance in our life. Living somewhere less expensive than our home town has it’s challenges if we leave loved ones behind, however, the benefit of being able to focus on our own immediate life will eventually outweigh the loss.
It takes time and consistent perseverance to pay attention to what we create everyday in our own personal here and now. In this article I’ve included a collage of some of the beautiful golden fruits here in Maui Hawaii, some of them similar to our luscious Thailand fruits like the dragon fruit. Aren’t we so lucky to be able to purchase them at less than $1 each! I have been indulging in the Maui pineapple, star fruits and mangoes as well as the golden sunrises, sunsets and golden sands.
The picture of the beach here is of Big Beach on Maui, my favourite beach so far. Aloha to everyone in SE Asia Thailand, I will be in Cambodia when I will be writing my article, never knowing if it will be about a place, a way of health or something fabulous I’ve discovered! I’m still painting and writing for my website and small expos, my small bio is next, Mahalo! (Hawaiian for thank you!)